Saturday, September 6, 2008

Gwailo Pad Thai

There is no point even trying to justify this dish as authentically Thai, but it still tastes great and does not rely on any overly exotic ingredients. I bought bean sprouts this week when I came down with an inexplicable hankering for Pad Thai like I used to get at Phnom Penh in Kingston (back in the non-vegan day, that is). The ol' Number 15, baby! I didn't have all the necessary ingredients on hand, so I improvised. I also tried adding some nori flakes to mimic fish sauce and I think it worked pretty well.

- 225g medium width rice noodles
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Bragg's
- 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp water
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 tsp nori flakes (optional)
- 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
- 1 pkg extra firm tofu, diced
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
- handful of bean sprouts
- tomato and cucumber slices
- chopped fresh cilantro

1. Soak rice noodles in hot tap water for 30 mins.
2. Make sauce: mix together ingredients from soy sauce to chili garlic sauce. Adjust to taste. Thai balances salty, sweet, hot, and sour. I like a more sweet sauce with a hot undertone.
3. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Dry fry tofu, stirring regularly, until it begins to turn golden. Add a splash of oil, if needed. Add soy sauce and lime juice and stir well. Remove from heat.
4. Rinse rice noodles and heat oil in wok over med-hi heat. Stir fry onion and garlic for a min or so, until onion softens. Add noodles and stir fry for a few mins, until noodles get translucent and begin to stick together.
5. Add sauce to the wok and mix well. Add tofu, and peanut butter and mix well. Cook, stirring regularly, until noodles are soft and liquid is mostly absorbed.
6. Serve topped with bean sprouts and garnished with cucumber and tomato slices and cilantro.